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PEI POTATO GROWERS DOUSED BY HURRICANE IDA

Hurricane Ida has left her autograph on Prince Edward Island.

Jay Scotland, CBC meteorologist for PEI, says that rainfall totals have exceeded modelling expectations, ranging from 40 to more than 128 millimetres for Charlottetown. Preliminary measurements from Environment Canada suggest that the September 2 rain storm was one of the rainiest days the island has ever seen.

Potato fields received anywhere from 95mm to 150mm during a 24-hour period, says Kevin MacIsaac, general manager, United Potato Growers of Canada.

“Just one day previous, the crop was beginning to look dry in some areas that had not received significant amounts of rainfall during the month of August,” says MacIsaac. “This rainfall event has greatly improved the outlook for long-season varieties such as Russet Burbanks.”

Growers will likely need to monitor any unwanted side effects of this rainfall dump, but to date quality has looked excellent with no off-types or defects. Early harvest has been very promising with some fields 50 to100 cwt. above last year’s poor yields during the main harvest. Old crop for table markets is winding down while maintaining good pricing. Old crop for processing, should finish by September 7-15, allowing factories to move into new spuds.

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